Minister Coveney Must Ensure Ireland Is Included in Any Negotiations to Re-open Russian Market

IFA Pigs Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty has said the Russian ban on pigmeat products last February has cost every European pig producer an estimated 10-20c/kg on every pig sold since its introduction. “This is a massive cost and therefore any possibility of the reopening of this market must be thoroughly explored by our Department of Agriculture.”

He said, “Many European countries believe that an agreement could be reached following the example of some bilateral agreements on beef (offal’s, fats and trimmings) between Russia and some Member States. We understand that although nothing is yet set in stone, there is the potential for agreement on some pig meat products. Ireland must be a part of this agreement”.

“Progress was reached at a meeting between DG SANCO and Rosselkhoznadzor in terms of collaboration on ASF control, which unlike the other EU export bans to Russia, was the reason for the original pig meat ban. The pig products involved would be live pigs, fat, lard and offal because these products are covered by the SPS ban (February due to ASF) and not by the political ban last October.”

“Pig producers are in a very negative situation currently as pig prices have fallen by 42c/kg since July 2014. If there is a possibility to resume trade of some pig products, Ireland, an island nation with no history of ASF must be included. This must be a priority for the Minister and his Department officials,” Mr. O’Flaherty concluded.

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